Encouragement for the Special Needs Mom

Marie Osborne

Marie Osborne
Updated Jul 16, 2024
Encouragement for the Special Needs Mom

Raising these kids can be exhausting, but if we tell ourselves and others what is good about them—what is great about our family—we can keep our eyes focused on the good that God is doing.

In 2014, I took my son to the pediatrician, and we began to notice some differences. “He isn’t gesturing as much as I would like,” she said. I remember the shock and concern that I felt, the lump rising in my throat. He was my firstborn, and I had no idea what to do. “Go home and work on pointing and gesturing. I’ll check back with you in a couple months.” 

I walked out of that office clutching my child, my mind running in a million different directions. I knew I would drive myself, and my son, crazy if all I did was gesture more. I needed answers. This began my long and arduous journey as a special-needs mom. 

Countless assessments, doctor’s visits, insurance calls, and specialists later, we had a diagnosis. After years and years of wondering and worrying and struggling, we finally had a name, some letters, a direction, a plan. But with a diagnosis came all this other stuff—all these feelings and issues and worries and complications. All this time, I thought diagnosis was the goal, the answer. It just ended up being another hurdle in a life-long race.

I don’t know where you are in your journey as a special needs mom, but over a decade into this adventure, I’d like to share some words of encouragement, and maybe a little wisdom, with you.

It’s Okay to Grieve 

It’s okay to be sad, depressed even. It’s okay to grieve the life you thought your child would have, the life you thought you would have. Not just once, or for a short time. It’s okay to have waves of grief crash over and over again. It’s okay years down the line to suddenly discover another thing that you had not realized you hoped for, for your child or for you or for your family, is not going to be a reality. It doesn’t mean you love him or her any less; it just means that, somewhere deep down, you thought things were going to be different, and you have come to terms with the fact that that hope, that reality, that expectation, is gone. Your child is still wonderful, still a blessing, still a gift. You still love him, cherish him, and would still do anything for him, even while you grieve.

Celebrate, Too

Our incredible kids need to be celebrated. This world is going to throw enough difficulties at them. They need to hear how incredible they are, how extraordinary, how beloved, how precious. Celebrate your child everywhere and with everyone. Talk about how wonderful your child is over and over again. See the goodness in your child even when you are exhausted. 

Sometimes what we need most is to say what’s good even when we don’t always feel it. Raising these kids can be exhausting, but if we tell ourselves and others what is good about them—what is great about our family—we can keep our eyes focused on the good that God is doing. Celebrate your child and your life, loud and often.

God Sees You

You may not feel seen in your struggles, but believe me, you are seen, known, and loved. God sees the battles that you have fought. He sees the doctors, insurance companies, specialists, therapists, psychologists, and more. He sees the surgeries, medications, therapies, hospitals, waiting rooms, and everything in between. He sees all of the conversations you had to have with teachers, administrators, friends, neighbors, family members, church staff, and volunteers. 

He sees all the ways you’ve had to advocate for your child, to get others to understand your child, to treat your child with respect and dignity, to provide your child with an education, with a warm welcome in a place in your congregation, with love and affection from your family and friends. 

He sees how hard you work for your child, how deeply you love your child, and how exhausting it all is for you. He sees, He knows, and He loves you, but more than that…

God Is with You

Yes, God sees you, but He is also with you. He’s supporting and encouraging you, whether you know it or not. He is there to hold you up and support you. He’s there to show you all the good in your child. He is there to provide the doctors who you need, the teachers who will love on your kid, and the church staff members who will support your entire family. He is there to bring you friends and community. He is there to comfort you and hold you when none of those things are available yet or can't offer the encouragement your soul needs. God is with you. He’s equipping and empowering you. He’s grieving and celebrating with you. He is right next to you every step of the way.

He Loves Your Child Deeply

God cares for your child more than you do. This is so important to remember. It’s hard to look forward to your child’s future and wonder what it will be like, how much care you will need to provide for them and for how long, how independent they might become, and what their life as an adult will look like. While there are so many unknowns, the thing we can always remember is that God loves our children more than we do. He will care for our children. As long as they live, He will hold them in his hands and provide a plan and a purpose for their lives. He will bring them the care and community they need throughout every stage and every age. 

While we have no control over the future, we know God is in control. While we don’t know what lies ahead, we know He does. If we keep our focus on Him, His goodness, His power, and His love for our children, we can find rest and peace because He has it all under control.

Special needs mama, I see you. I know how hard you’re working. I know how special your child is. I know how hard it was to grieve the loss of the life you thought you would have. But I also know that God sees you, He is with you, and He loves your kiddo more than even you do. He’s got you both—remember that.

Related Resource: Strengthening Your Marriage While Raising a Child with Disabilities

In this episode of Empowering Homeschool Conversations, your host Annie Yorty and her special guests dive into the unique challenges and beautiful complexities of maintaining a strong, loving partnership while navigating the demands of special needs parenting. Our expert guests bring a wealth of knowledge and personal experience to the table, offering invaluable insights and practical strategies for fostering resilience, connection, and joy in your marriage. Whether you're homeschooling parents seeking support, or simply looking for ways to strengthen your relationship amidst life's challenges, this conversation promises to provide the inspiration and tools you need to thrive together. Listen now!

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